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Boulding's Bug Blues

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 22/12/2002

ASTON Villa striker Mick Boulding's plans to return to Blundell Park in time for Boxing Day's clash with Derby at Pride Park have been dashed after the former Town crowd favourite has been suffering from a virus all week.

The understanding with Villa was that Boulding was to train for a week before returning to his former club on loan, meaning that next Saturday's clash with Norwich at Blundell Park is a more realistic target for Boulding.

"On Monday night, when I was supposed to start training on the Tuesday I went down with some sort of virus," Boulding told the Sports Telegraph. "It was like flu and I went back into the ground [Villa Park] yesterday to see the doctor and he said that I can start training on Monday.

"But I'll get back fairly quickly because my natural levels of fitness are good. As long as my ankle is okay they'll let me out. They might let go a little bit earlier than that [the New Year]'."

Boulding looks set to leave Villa Park when his contract ends in the summer, after a miserable year with the Midlands giants, and Paul Groves is keen to bring him back to Blundell Park on a permanent basis - if he can find a financial package which is acceptable to both the former Mansfield striker and the GTFC board.

As Boulding is too old for a season-long loan to be arranged after Christmas, a three-month loan with the option of a further month is the likeliest option, which would almost extend for the remainder of the season in May in any case if he were to arrive in the new year.




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